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Michigan-based cidery, Vander Mill, announces today its partnership with West Michigan businesses to celebrate the fall season at the 8th Annual Vander Fest. The event will take place at its Spring Lake location at 14921 Cleveland Street on Saturday, October 7, from 4 – 10 p.m.

Several Michigan breweries and restaurants have joined Vander Mill to create a unique festival experience that captures the best of West Michigan. The event will feature live music by local artists, food trucks, beers from local breweries, and delicious Vander Mill cider and donuts.

vander fest

“We’ve cultivated some of our favorite West Michigan businesses and entertainment and brought them together for our biggest event of the year,” says Paul Vander Heide, owner of Vander Mill. “Fall is the best time of year in Michigan, and what better way to enjoy it than with a hard cider with friends?”

Vander Fest will have several new features, including:

  • Laser Beam Lounge: a tented area filled with laser beams, Vander Mill ciders, and a laser-themed photo booth, sponsored by Van Wyk Insurance. Live music by Social Bones and DJ Nick Awesome.

  • Crystal Court: a tented area tucked into the woods and surrounded by fog. This spooky section will feature a dozen Vander Mill ciders on nitro.

  • Barrel-aged booth, which will supply all of Vander Mill’s barrel-aged ciders.

 

Attendees can also enjoy beers from Vander Mill’s brewery friends: Big Lake Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Unruly Brewing Co., Greenbush Brewing, and Oddside Ales. Several food trucks that will be on-site include Dalty Raes, Standard Pizza, and Righteous Cuisine. Vander Mill will also supply cider donuts, coffee, and hot cider.

Tickets are required for entry into the event and are available in three tiers:

  • VIP Tickets: $85
    Guests will receive entry into the event, Vander Fest souvenir glass, eight drink tokens, entertainment, reserved seating at a table in a roped-off area, and Vander Mill food.

  • General Admission Tickets: $35
    Guests will receive entry into the event, Vander Fest souvenir glass, eight drink tokens, and entertainment.

  • Designated Driver Tickets: $10
    Guests will receive entry into the event and entertainment.

Attendees can purchase tickets at Eventbrite until 11:30 p.m. the evening before the event here.

ARMADA, MI – Blake’s Hard Cider located at Blake Farms is gearing up for its 3rd Annual Cider Dayze Festival on August 26 and 27.  In partnership with the Armada Lions Club, this beer, wine and cider festival is one of the largest of its kind in Michigan.  “Its really about raising money for a great organization that focuses on giving back and community; we’re thrilled to be able to achieve this, while hosting a fun and local event” says Lions President, Steve Jerzewski.

Although the festival is only going on its 3rd year, it has grown organically through word of mouth to over 50 breweries, wineries, and cideries. Some of the biggest breweries in the country will attend this year’s event, from well-known names like Founder’s and Ballast Point, to new comers like Fillmore 13 of Pontiac. “We love that this is a predominantly “Michigan-made” festival and that it’s not exclusive to only craft beer like many others are. As the second largest apple producing state in the world, we take pride in our state’s ciders” says Marketing Manager, Chelsea Iadipaolo.

The festival has not only added more craft beverages, but more outdoor games too.  The Fowling Warehouse is providing boards for free play all day, along with free yoga classes for ticket holders both Saturday and Sunday. The Silent Disco tent is a crowd favorite, and with live music all day, there’s something for everyone.

Tickets are available at the door, rain or shine, must be 21 or over to attend. Designated driver tickets also online at www.ciderdayze.com.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE: Use MITTENBREW during your ticket purchase and receive $10 off!
ARMADA, MI – Blake’s Hard Cider located at Blake Farms is gearing up for its 3rd Annual Cider Dayze Festival on August 26 and 27.  In partnership with the Armada Lions Club, this beer, wine and cider festival is one of the largest of its kind in Michigan.  “Its really about raising money for a great organization that focuses on giving back and community; we’re thrilled to be able to achieve this, while hosting a fun and local event” says Lions President, Steve Jerzewski.
Although the festival is only going on its 3rd year, it has grown organically through word of mouth to over 50 breweries, wineries, and cideries. Some of the biggest breweries in the country will attend this year’s event, from well-known names like Founder’s and Ballast Point, to new comers like Fillmore 13 of Pontiac. “We love that this is a predominantly “Michigan-made” festival and that it’s not exclusive to only craft beer like many others are. As the second largest apple producing state in the world, we take pride in our state’s ciders” says Marketing Manager, Chelsea Iadipaolo.
The festival has not only added more craft beverages, but more outdoor games too.  The Fowling Warehouse is providing boards for free play all day, along with free yoga classes for ticket holders both Saturday and Sunday. The Silent Disco tent is a crowd favorite, and with live music all day, there’s something for everyone.
Tickets are available at the door, rain or shine, must be 21 or over to attend. Designated driver tickets also online at www.ciderdayze.com.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE: Use MITTENBREW during your ticket purchase and receive $10 off!
Cider Week GR

The cumulation of Grand Rapids first ever Cider Week ended with a Festival held at a location just as iconic as the Michigan apples our (many, many) ciders are made of—the Grand Rapids Blue Bridge.

The Cider Week GR Blue Bridge Festival was held on Saturday, April 22nd from 2:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m., complete with live music, over 15 different Michigan cider makers, and a steady stream of sunshine and laughter.

The Michigan Cider Association, formed in December of 2014, exists to “provide short- and long-term significance and value to all members through the promotion and support of Michigan cider.” Michigan boasts the second highest number of US cider producers in the US, and the industry as a whole is expected to continue to grow.

With a venue just as unique as the cider companies representing Michigan Cider, the Blue Bridge was a perfect spot to mingle and enjoy the beautiful weather. Attendance was most likely higher than initially anticipated, and for good reason. For $25, attendees got to take home a commemorative glass and try ten 8oz pours of a wide variety of ciders from across our state.

Cider Week GR

There seems to be a strong trend towards actually tasting the sweetness of the apples itself, without artificially (and overly) enhancing the natural sugars present. I was pleased to be able to try a variety of dry and semi-dry ciders from companies like Acme Cider. David Winick & Lori Tauer started Acme for a simple reason—they couldn’t find any mass produced ciders they actually liked. “People who drank our ciders said they loved it, so we decided to impart on the business part of it. We recently got our license, and we will be building out production, and this is the first event we’ve distributed out of,” shared Tauer

“Our ciders are full of love,” laughed Winick, “We spent a lot of time creating a dry cider with a good balance, and some depth to it. You know, if it pleases us, we feel it’s going to please other people, and that’s the bottom line. That’s why we do it.”

Farmhaus Cider co-owner, John Behrens, made it a point to treat attendees to one-offs and unique, summer-centric beverages. “We brought a bunch of different ciders we don’t usually distribute, like our Hop Crop, (a dry hopped cider with a big, bold mouthfeel) and our Too Cuc, a cucumber rosemary cider, perfect for sitting out on a patio—or a bridge.”

The style of ciders ran the gamut, from the Tequila Sunset Cider, a tequila barrel aged w/ blood orange offering from Acme to Cellarman’s Coffee Cider, made with Ethiopian Limu Coffee and Star Thistle Honey.

As a first year event, it seemed to be a success for both the attendees and the cideries offering their beverages. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, make sure you seek out some of the Michigan made ciders distributed throughout the state.

 
Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill, The Peoples Cider Co., Vander Mill, Pux Cider, Farmhaus Cider Co., Tandem Ciders, Blake’s Hard Cider Co.,Northville Winery and Brewing Company, St. Julian Winery, 45 North Vineyard & Winery, Starcut Ciders, Virtue Cider, Uncle John’s Cider Mill (Official Page), Suttons Bay Ciders, Corey Lake Orchards, Robinette’s, Cherry Creek Winery , Acme Cider

 

Elk Rapids, Mich. – Starcut Ciders, a craft cider brand produced by Short’s Brewing Company, is celebrating two years handcrafting hard ciders this month. Launched at the Short’s Brewing Company pub in November 2014, Starcut Ciders began bottled cider distribution in August 2015. Experiencing tremendous growth, in just two years Starcut Ciders is now the third largest cider maker in Michigan and a strong regional brand.

starcut ciders

Regularly distributed in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado, the company has sold approximately 315,000 liters or 2,700 barrels of hard cider in 2016. According to Short’s CEO and Creative Engineer, Joe Short “We are thrilled to have created a locally grown brand that’s connecting with consumers in Michigan and throughout the Midwest. Between artwork by the legendary Don Pendleton and the well balanced and unique ciders crafted by our team, we’ve found a winning combination.”

According to the company’s Head Cider Maker, Tony Hansen, cider fans have much to look forward to in the years to come. “We have a lot of exciting cider projects happening soon including a bottled sparkling cider to be released at our Starcut Ciders Celebration (February 25th, 2017), a new fruit cider, and a handful of experimental ciders. We also plan to increase our number of Erraticus wild cider and barrel aged offerings in the new year.”

In 2017 the company will continue to distribute flagship ciders Octorock (semi-sweet) and Pulsar (semi-dry) and three seasonal varieties; Immortal Jelly, Squishy, and Phuzz. In addition to the ciders distributed by Starcut, the company will continue to bottle their Erraticus Series. Erraticus is a series of rare, small batch, wild ciders fermented with apples sourced from Northern Michigan orchards. Erraticus 5 and Erraticus 6 are currently available for sale at the Short’s Brewing Company pub and Short’s Mart in Bellaire, MI. Erraticus 7, a spruce cider, will be released later this season.

For more information regarding Starcut Ciders, please visit www.starcutciders.com.

black phillip

Armada, MI – Live life deliciously.. That’s what Blake’s Hard Cider is asking us all to do with their newest seasonal release, Black Phillip. The newest creation from Blake’s has infused blood orange and cranberry with Blake Farms apples into what might be their best cider to date.

“This is the best God damn cider America has ever seen,” said Andrew Blake, founder of Blake’s Hard Cider. “Just kidding, but this is my personal favorite cider we’ve made to date and the 12oz can our marketing team put together is unreal. I think it’s going to kick ass.”

This is Blake’s third new seasonal cider they’ve created this year alone. If the success of their spring seasonal, Tonic, and summer seasonal, Aurora, give any indication of how it will taste and be received, Black Phillip is sure to impress.

“So I don’t remember much from that fateful night,” mumbled Robert Lauer, Cidermaster at Blake’s Hard Cider. “Other than the full moon, a silvery voice and the sound of a jingling spur. It wasn’t so much a conversation, but I recall the words “cranberry and blood orange” and “seeing the world.” I think something was taken from me that night that I fear shan’t return cause of something about his book, and it’s been stranger ever since Black Phillip came into our lives.”

Black Phillip will be available August 1 to Blake’s Hard Cider distributor partners in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Kansas in 12oz six-pack cans, 22oz bottles, 1/6 bbl & ½ bbl kegs. Select bottle shops and grocery chains will carry Black Phillip in cans and bottles.

black phillip
Armada, MI – Live life deliciously.. That’s what Blake’s Hard Cider is asking us all to do with their newest seasonal release, Black Phillip. The newest creation from Blake’s has infused blood orange and cranberry with Blake Farms apples into what might be their best cider to date.
“This is the best God damn cider America has ever seen,” said Andrew Blake, founder of Blake’s Hard Cider. “Just kidding, but this is my personal favorite cider we’ve made to date and the 12oz can our marketing team put together is unreal. I think it’s going to kick ass.”
This is Blake’s third new seasonal cider they’ve created this year alone. If the success of their spring seasonal, Tonic, and summer seasonal, Aurora, give any indication of how it will taste and be received, Black Phillip is sure to impress.
“So I don’t remember much from that fateful night,” mumbled Robert Lauer, Cidermaster at Blake’s Hard Cider. “Other than the full moon, a silvery voice and the sound of a jingling spur. It wasn’t so much a conversation, but I recall the words “cranberry and blood orange” and “seeing the world.” I think something was taken from me that night that I fear shan’t return cause of something about his book, and it’s been stranger ever since Black Phillip came into our lives.”
Black Phillip will be available August 1 to Blake’s Hard Cider distributor partners in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Kansas in 12oz six-pack cans, 22oz bottles, 1/6 bbl & ½ bbl kegs. Select bottle shops and grocery chains will carry Black Phillip in cans and bottles.
taproot

Tap·root (ˈtapˌro͞ot,-ˌro͝ot/) noun: a straight tapering root growing vertically downward and forming the center from which subsidiary rootlets spring.

In other words, the central root of the system. Taproot Cider House opened its doors on January 28 with the intention to be the one that supports other roots within the community,

“In naming Taproot, I thought of the root system. The taproot is the strongest root in the system, providing support to the remaining roots, or our local farmers and businesses. The trunk becomes our staff, at the center of our business, and the branches become the customers that come in to support everything we’re doing,” explained owner Jennifer Mackey.

taproot

Mackey has long been a supporter of local organic agriculture and the earth-to-table concept. She has worked on organic farms, aided in the distribution of produce to local markets, and has helped conventional farms convert to organic operations. She joined Northern Natural Cider House and Winery in 2009 and began partnering with Dennis Mackey — who is also an organic farmer and CEO of Northern Natural.

In 2015, she branched out to open her own cider house.

“We know so many good people and businesses, this is a great way to support our community,” said Mackey.

The passion for local and organic products is evident throughout every element of Taproot. Both the food and drink menus were intentionally crafted to be as local, organic, free range, and GMO free as possible. Even the atmosphere reflects the earth-to-table element; taproots hang from the ceiling, wood beams can be found throughout, and local artists and agriculture are clearly supported.

“We wanted to create something that reflects our community. We have something for everyone, and aim to be family friendly,” said Mackey. Mackey cited the work she’s done with local farmers, as well as her own family, as inspiration for creating such an environment.

And in just under three months, Taproot has already begun to establish itself as such a place. Throughout the day, regulars make their way in as Mackey stops to greet them. Friends gather and families come in for a meal. The menu and environment are welcoming for everyone.

The drink menu not only features a wide array of ciders, but also craft beer, wine, spirits, soda, and cocktails. Currently Taproot is featuring ciders from Northern Natural, Vandermill, Blake’s Hard Cider, Tandem Ciders, and Starcut Ciders. Craft cocktails are prepared with fresh pressed juice, house-made syrups, and infused liquors. Sodas are made in-house as well, featuring the house-made syrups.

The food menu is equally as diverse, featuring a number of small plates, salads, pizzas, and main entrees. There truly is something for everyone.

When asked about a favorite on the menu, Mackey stated, “I don’t know if I could pick out a customer favorite. It really depends on their range of preferences. Once we know those preferences, we can guide our customers to finding something they’ll enjoy. That’s what is great about our menu.”

Taproot will have its official Grand Opening on April 23. Blake’s Hard Cider will be on-site, with a special tapping of El Chapo.

For a more detailed look at Taproot’s menu and events, visit http://www.taproottc.com.

 


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